The TIMES OF THE GENTILES
In AD 33 Jesus predicted (Luke 21:24):
“They (Israel) will fall by the edge of the sword,
and (1) be led away captive into all nations (fulfilled AD 70).
And (2) Jerusalem will be trampled (dominated) by Gentiles
UNTIL THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES are fulfilled.”
Here Jesus speaks of a special prophetic time-period called ‘the Times of the Gentiles’, that was determined by God to run its course. These Times measure a definite period of Gentile dominion over Israel, her land and especially Jerusalem, which constitute a disciplinary judgement of God upon Israel’s sin.
Jesus referred to ‘the Times of the Gentiles’ as if they were well-known to His hearers, and indeed they were. Their beginning is well documented in the Old-Testament. They began when Israel fell into idolatry and went into Captivity to Babylon (607-588BC). God removed her dominion (rulership in the land) and gave it to the Gentiles. Thus the Times of the Gentiles refer to and measure the time of Gentile dominion over Israel, her Land and Jerusalem (as a result of her sin). At the time of Jesus these Times had run for over 600 years already (Israel was then under Roman control). Jesus was announcing that because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, these Times of Gentile domination would soon enter a more severe phase of judgement upon Israel. This happened as He predicted in AD70 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and evicted the Jews from the land, scattering them to the nations. Moreover, in His prophecy Jesus also confirmed the other implication of ‘the Times of the Gentiles’: that when they had run their course Israel would be regathered to her land and also regain control of Jerusalem.
In Luke 21:24, Jesus predicted (1) the dispersion of Israel and (2) the domination of Jerusalem, but that these would both be temporary, only lasting until these Times had run their course. Then at the end of this time-period of Gentile dominion
Israel would (1) be regathered to the land and (2) regain control of Jerusalem. Thus according to Jesus’ prophecy, the ending of the Times of the Gentiles would be marked by these two events.
This indeed happened exactly as predicted in our recent history:
(1) Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948 and
(2) Jerusalem was recaptured in 1967,
signifying that the Times of the Gentiles are now fulfilled!
Luke 21:24 is the start of a countdown of events leading to the Second Coming, that was given by Jesus in Luke 21:24-36:
“They will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled
by Gentiles until the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (v24).
In this verse, Jesus jumped from AD 70, near the start of the Church-Age to a point near the end of the Church-Age, when the Times of the Gentiles would be over. This was fulfilled in 1967, signalling that God is bringing Israel back onto centre-stage
and making preparations for the Kingdom to be restored to her (Acts 1:5). Thus the end of the Times of the Gentiles is a clear sign we have entered the last times of the Church-Age.
The Tribulation. The next verses confirm this, for immediately He goes on from the recapture of Jerusalem, to describe the Tribulation with its ‘labour-pains’, indicating that it will follow on soon after: “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity,
the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken” (v25,26).
Then He describes His Second Coming as following immediately on after the Tribulation: “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (v27).
Then He concludes: “Now when these things begin to happen (when we see Israel reborn and Jerusalem back in Jewish hands and the labour-pains characteristic of the Tribulation begin to happen, as we have done in the last century), then look up and lift up your heads (in expectation), because your redemption (the redemption of our body in the Rapture) draws near (for the stage is now set and the world is racing towards the Tribulation)” (v28). We can see these things happening in the world today. We can see the world racing towards the Tribulation. This should cause us to get and stay ready for the Rapture, when we will stand before the Lord and give an account for our lives.
“Then He spoke to them a parable (to reinforce what He had just been saying in v28): "Look at the Fig Tree (the sign of Israel), and all the Trees (these are other world events growing and moving toward their state in the Tribulation. The Trees that are fully mature in the Tribulation have their beginning in the time just before it starts, that is in the last-days of the Church-Age). When they are already budding (‘when these things begin to happen’), you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near” (v29-31).
Then He promises in very strong terms that all this will happen within a man’s lifetime of the end of the Times of the Gentiles: "Assuredly, I say to you, this generation (those alive who see the rebirth of Israel as a nation) will by no means pass away till all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (v32,33). Notice some have misread this by saying the end comes within a generation of 1948. It does not say that. It says that those people who are alive in 1948 will not all die. That is it is within a man’s lifetime of 1948.
Therefore we must stay ready: "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day (the Tribulation) come on you unexpectedly. For it will come (suddenly) as a snare (a trap that closes tight on animals, bringing great pain and preventing any escape) upon all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (resurrected in the Rapture)" (v34-36). Here Jesus clearly states that the true Church will be raptured just before the Tribulation and thus escape it!
The TIMES OF THE GENTILES in Daniel.
To understand more about the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ we must go to the prophet Daniel, who was in the first group to go into captivity to Babylon in 607 BC. The whole subject of the Book of Daniel is these ‘Times of the Gentiles’, whose start he witnessed. His anointing was to prophetically reveal the course of these Times, describing the nature of the Gentile-kingdoms that would rule over Israel, until finally God’s eternal Kingdom is established, thereby proving God’s Sovereignty over all.
In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image, which Daniel interpreted. This was a prophetic summary of ‘the Times of the Gentiles’ (of Gentile political dominion over Israel), revealing the four main Gentile kingdoms that would dominate Israel (first Babylon, then Persia, Greece, and Rome).
Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon is described as the first, the beginning and head of these Gentile-Powers that take different forms over the centuries, but are collectively called ‘Babylon.’
Ultimately he sees them destroyed, and replaced by the coming of a great Stone which fills the earth (Jesus Christ and His Kingdom).
The SEVEN TIMES in Daniel.
Daniel 4: The Dream of the Tree and the SEVEN TIMES.
This whole chapter is a tract written by Nebuchadnezzar for everyone to read (v1) telling of his conversion to the God of Israel (v37). It concerns a second dream which Daniel interpreted. This dream of Nebuchadnezzar concerned himself, but as the first ruler of ‘Babylon’ for the Times of the Gentiles, he also represents the whole Gentile rule of these Times. He is thus a type (picture) of the Gentile-powers as a whole that would follow him. Thus the dream revealed much about these Times of the Gentiles: their nature, outcome and duration.
This dream revealed a great Tree which was cut down for a period of SEVEN TIMES (v16,25) as a judgement, but would be restored afterwards.
The Vision (v10-17). "I was looking, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong; its height reached to the heavens, and it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. Its leaves were lovely, its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, the birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it...and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He cried aloud: `Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, and the birds from its branches. Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts on the grass of the earth. Let his heart be changed from that of a man, let him be given the heart of a beast, and let SEVEN TIMES pass over him. This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men”
The vision concerns a Tree, representing a King and Kingdom cut down in judgement because of its pride - for a period of 7 TIMES, yet afterwards restored. The interpretation applies this first to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who had become proud, refusing to acknowledge God. Therefore he was going to be cut down to size, becoming mad and living as a beast (but still being the king), for a period of 7 TIMES, at the end of which he would realise that the Most High rules over men, and so would be restored
Daniel’s Interpretation (v20-26): “The tree that you saw.. - it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, `Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till SEVEN TIMES pass over him'; this is the interpretation, O king ...
They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field ... They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and SEVEN TIMES shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules.”
The Fulfilment with Nebuchadnezzar (v28-37). “All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of 12 months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. The king spoke, saying, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honour of my majesty?" While the word was still in the king's mouth, a voice fell from heaven: "King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and SEVEN TIMES shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar, he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.
At the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honoured Him who lives forever: for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth... At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honour and splendour returned to me... I was restored to my kingdom and excellent majesty.”
Thus it was fulfilled first in Nebuchadnezzar.
The king did not heed the vision, but it came to pass (v28-33). He indeed became insane for a period of 7 TIMES (a TIME was a Babylonian Year of 360 days), after which he realised God rules, and so was restored (v34-37), resulting in him preaching faith in the true God to his whole kingdom (see also 5:18-21).
But God is revealing something deeper here, for as the first Gentile ruler, King Nebuchadnezzar also represents Babylon and the Gentile Empires of Daniel 2 (being the head of gold in v38). In prophetic symbolism, he stands for the Gentile powers of the whole of ‘the Times of the Gentiles.’ He is a Type of the whole dominion of Gentile powers, and his personal 7-Times are a Type of whole of ‘the Times of the Gentiles’. Thus through the pictures of the dream, God was revealing something about the nature, outcome and duration of this long period of Gentile-dominion.
1. As to its nature: It is a period of Gentile dominion and madness over Israel, where the Gentile ruling-powers of Babylon (like Nebuchadnezzar) have the nature (heart) of a beast and rule like a beast - with pride and cruelty, without acknowledging God’s. authority over them, and thus lacking soundness of mind.
Indeed Gentile powers are often pictured as Beasts (e.g. in Daniel 7)
However they are ultimately restrained under the hand of God, who determines the boundaries and conditions of the Times, even declaring them ahead of time. The Times of the Gentiles are therefore under the Sovereignty of God.
Moreover during these Times, the Gentiles will receive ‘the dew of heaven.’ This was prophetic of the spiritual blessings in the Holy-Spirit poured out upon all flesh at Pentecost AD33 through Christ.
2. As to its outcome: At the end of these Times, the Gentile nations (like King Nebuchadnezzar) will be restored to a right mind of submission to the rule of God (in the Millennium), when they will accept God’s right to set as ruler over the kingdoms of the earth: ‘the lowest (humblest, most abased) of men (Jesus Christ)’.
3. As to duration, the typology of Nebuchadnezzar indicates that this time-period of Gentile dominion and madness over Israel is to be measured as 7 TIMES. So this is a coded prophecy that: The TIMES of the Gentiles is a period of 7 TIMES.
A TIME was a Babylonian Year of 360 days,
therefore 7 TIMES = 7 x 360 = 2,520 days.
This is is confirmed by comparing the following verses which all describe the same period of time: the Great Tribulation:
In Daniel 9:27, the Great Tribulation starts in ‘the Midst of the Week (of 7 years)’ and runs until the end of these 7 years, therefore it lasts for 3.5 years.
According to Daniel 7:25,12:7, Revelation 12:14, it lasts:
‘a Time, Times and half a Time’ (3.5 Times);
According to Revelation 12:6, it lasts ‘1,260 days.’
According to Revelation 11:2, 13:5, it lasts ‘42 months.’
Thus 42 months = 1260 days = 3.5 Times =Half of 7 Years.
Therefore 1 month has 30 days
and 1 Time (12 months) is 30x12 = 360 days.
‘A Time (360), Times (720) and half a Time (180)’ is 1260 days.
(that is 3.5 Times = 3.5x360 days = 1260 days)
and 7 TIMES =2,520 days.
Thus a Time is a special year of 360 days. It is not the year the Bible generally uses, neither is it a ‘prophetic year’, but it is used by God for only one special use: for times of world-wide judgement Thus it is only used for the 7 years of the Tribulation and the 5 months of Noah’s Flood (Genesis 7:11,24; 8:3,4).
The reason why the Times of the Gentiles are 7x360 years is that they are based on the blueprint of the 7x360 days of the two great kings of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar and the Antichrist). Therefore this period of Gentile (Babylonian) domination is made to carry the imprint both of Babylon and of God’s judgement, through the length of time God allotted to it.
This picture in Daniel 4, of God’s restraining-judgement over the Gentile Tree (Kingdom) mirrors His judgement upon Israel during the very same 7-Times. For Israel was also cut down to size (judged) as a Tree (Nation) for her idolatry. God judged her by putting her under Gentile-dominion for 7 Times (the bands of iron and bronze encircling the Tree emphasised Roman and Greek control), yet kept alive. She too entered into a state of mental confusion and blindness (not perceiving her Messiah), but at the end of the 7 Times she too will be restored to faith in Christ,
and to a place of dominion. Thus the time of Israel’s cutting down would be 7 Times.
Leviticus 26:18,21,24,28 warns Israel that if they continue in sin, they would be punished SEVEN TIMES for their sin, which included Gentile domination and captivity, after which they will be restored (v18-45).
"If you do not obey Me, but walk contrary to Me, then I also will walk contrary
to you in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you SEVEN TIMES for your sins” (v27,28).
So this is also a prophecy that the TIMES of the Gentiles would be a period of 7 TIMES.
Thus 'the Times of the Gentiles' (when Israel and Jerusalem are placed under Gentile domination) described by Jesus in Luke 21:24 are the 7 Times of Daniel 4 and Leviticus 26. They refer to a definite time-period of parallel Divine discipline upon both the Gentile-Kingdoms (Daniel4:16,23,25,32) and Israel (Lev 26:27,28).
The TIMES of the GENTILES: How Long?
We have seen that it was given to Daniel, who was taken into captivity to Babylon at the start of the Times of the Gentiles, to describe the course of these Times of Gentile Dominion over Israel. In Daniel 4 we are given a clue as to how long this Time Period will be, for it is typologically describeed as 7 TIMES.
Thus the TIMES of the Gentiles are 7 TIMES.
So how long should these 7 Times of Gentile dominion over Israel and Jerusalem be? And when do they finish?
To interpret the typology historically we must use the YEAR-DAY principle which often God uses in connection with periods of judgement (see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:4-6 where the sin or judgement of a nation in YEARS corresponds to the experience of in DAYS representative individuals). Thus the 7 Times of 360 days represent 7 Times of 360 years = 2520 years.
The Times of the Gentiles are therefore 7 Times of Gentile dominion and madness over Israel and her land (that came as a result of Israel’s sin) after which the Gentile nations would be restored to a place of faith under the rule of God.
The SEVEN TIMES of the Gentiles are 2520 years.
This period of 7 TIMES is confirmed in Daniel 5.
This chapter marks the fall of Babylon and the rise of Medo-Persia as the new world-power (538 BC). Belshazzar was the eldest son of the last Babylonian King Nabonidus, who was on a ten-year absence from Babylon. His pride and defiance of God are seen in verses 1-4, 22 and 23, but when God wrote on the wall (v5) he was scared! (v6). God used this occasion to end the Babylonian phase of these Times. The supernatural writing on the wall said: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsim.”
Daniel’s interpretation of it was that God had weighed the kingdom and found it wanting, so accordingly He had numbered its days and now it had finished its time and it would now be divided and given to the Medes and Persians. But Babylon represents all the Gentile-powers and these words also contain God’s numbering for the days of Babylon (the Times of the Gentiles) for they are also numerical measures
of weight: “A mina, a mina, a shekel and half-a-mina”
In terms of the basic unit (a gerah), a mina = 1000 gerahs, a shekel = 20 minas. So, a mina (1000), a mina (1000), a shekel (20) and half-a-mina (500) gives a total of 2520 = 7 TIMES! This confirms that God has numbered the days of the domination of Israel by Gentile ‘Babylon’ at 2520 years.
Belshazzar was careless because he thought the city was impregnable but that very night Cyrus opened the city gates by stopping the flow of the river which held the gates closed, just as Isaiah had prophesied 150 years before: “Thus says the LORD to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him and loose the armour of kings, to open before him the double doors, so that the gates will not be shut” (Isaiah 45:1).
To summarise, the Seven Times give the Time-Span of ‘the Times of the Gentiles’, which are defined by Jesus as the period in which (by God’s judgement) Jerusalem is under Gentile domination: “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). They are Times of Divine discipline upon Israel. Due to her sin, she was put under Gentile Dominion. We have seen from Daniel that God measured this as 7 Times of 360 years, or 2,520 years. The 7 Times started with the Babylonian Captivity in Daniel’s time; so God used Daniel to mark the start of this period and to prophesy what would happen
in it from start to end. At the end of these Times, God must restore the control of Jerusalem to Israel. This has been fulfilled in 1948 and 1967 as a clear Biblical sign that these Times have ended and that we are now in the end-times.
Therefore, now the right of Gentiles over Israel and Jerusalem has been removed by God and any Gentile attempts to take or divide the land will only result in failure and judgement.
The start of these Times is the Babylonian Servitude and Captivity giving starting dates of 607-588 BC. Thus there were 19 years of increasing Gentile dominion over Israel leading up to the start of these Times. Likewise we might also expect a corresponding 19 years of decreasing Gentile dominion and increasing Jewish restoration - at the end of the 7-Times. We shall see that this is indeed the case. (These were also the starting dates for a shorter 70-year period of discipline for Israel which likewise ended over 19 years: 537-518 BC).
Going forward 7 TIMES = 2520 years from the key starting dates of Israel’s captivity in Babylon, we should get the key dates for Israel’s restoration as a nation. Bible students at these times of fulfilment at the end of the 7-Times were expecting to see the restoration of Israel in phases based on the 7-Times prophecy:
In 607 BC, Israel’s Servitude to Babylon began. Daniel and other young royal princes were the first group to go into Captivity.
2520 years take us to 1914 AD.
In 1914, World War 1 began. The fact that this was the beginning of the end of the Times of Gentile dominion was shown by this start of a great shaking of nations, which led to the capture of Jerusalem (1917) and rebirth of Israel. World-War was the first sign given by Jesus of being in the end times of the Church-Age (the time immediately before the Tribulation)-Matthew 24:7.
In 604 BC, there was a further submission by Israel to Babylon.
2520 years take us to 1917.
In 1917 AD, there was more evidence that the Times of the Gentiles were nearing closure when the British General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Islamic Turks on December 11th, 40 days after the British made the Balfour Declaration promising Israel nationhood in their homeland. No shot had to be fired because of a Turkish surrender when they saw the planes of the Royal Flying Corps fly over Jerusalem dropping leaflets to surrender. Aviation in warfare was new and the Turks took this as a message from Heaven. Unique in the war, no damage was done in capturing a city. It was seen as a fulfilment of Isaiah 31:5: “Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.” The squadron’s motto was: “I spread my wings and keep my promise.” As a Bible-believer, Allenby humbly entered on foot to take control, but he did not come as a conqueror for the British had promised to return the land to the Jews. These developments were a clear signal that the Times of the Gentiles were coming to a close, alerting Bible-students to watch carefully.
In 603 BC Daniel received the vision that warned of the coming Times of Gentile dominion (Daniel 2). His vision charted the course of the Times of the Gentiles, revealing the World Empires that would dominate Israel.
2520 years take us to 1918.
In 1918 AD, the end of World-War One at 11 am of the 11th day of the 11th month, signified to many Bible-students that 11 o'clock had come in the Times of the Gentiles, warning us that they were about to end. Thinking of a Time (360 years) as a Day, then one hour is 15 years. This indicated a Midnight end in 1933.
The end of World-War 1 led quickly to the formation of the League of Nations (the forerunner of the UN), which was man’s attempt to unite the nations in order to prevent World-War breaking out again)
In 598 BC, Babylon conquered Jerusalem leading to greater captivity.
2520 years take us to 1923 AD.
In 1923, the Palestinian Mandate (for Britain to administer the holy-land) came into operation, so that the promises Britain made in the Balfour Declaration could now be implemented.
In 588 BC Jerusalem was besieged by Babylon, leading to its destruction soon after. It is the start of the siege in January 588BC that is clearly marked by God as marking the last of the starting dates of the Times of the Gentiles, when Gentile dominion was fully established over Israel (see Jeremiah 52 and Ezekiel 24).
2520 years take us to 1933 AD.
In 1933, Bible-students who had been watching the fulfilment of the Times of the Gentiles, and who had seen signs of them ending in 1914, 1917, 1923, were expecting to see them finally end in 1933, but clearly they did not end at this time. However these believers were able to mark 1933 as a key spiritual end-point.
This was the year God when, according to Romans 11:22, God spiritually cut off the Gentile nations (but not the Church) from the place of favour that they had been grafted into when Israel was cut off in October 33. For more explanation see the
Appendix “What happened in 1933?” at the end.
Summary. The Seven-Times started with the Babylonian Captivity (607-588BC). At the end of these Times, God should restore control of Jerusalem to Israel. Going forward 2520 years from the starting dates took us to 1914-1917-1923-1933. These are all key dates for the ending of the Times of Gentile domination and the re-establishment of Israel, but it was not until 1948 and 1967 that these Times finally ended. How can we understand this puzzle?
The Missing Key: the Life of Christ. The missing clue is the special time of the life of Jesus Christ, the true King. As might be expected, the Messiah, Jesus who came to earth during these 7-Times, has put His imprint upon the course of these Times.
He was here for almost 34 years (rounding up). Because of the presence of the King of Kings, these 34 years could not be counted as part of the Times of Gentile control. Thus God had to suspend His counting of these Times. Thus they must end over a 19 year period of time, 34 years later than the original calculation.
*Adding 34 years to 1914 (the start of nation-shaking)
takes us to 1948 - the rebirth of the nation of Israel!
*Adding 34 years to 1933
takes us to 1967 - the recapture of Jerusalem,
This signalled and signified the end of the Times of the Gentiles (according to Luke 21:24). As 34 years measured the time from His conception/birth to His fullness, so the ending of these periods (in 1948 and 1967) saw the full manifestation of that which had their spiritual beginnings at the start of these periods (1914 and 1933).
Thus the 7 Times were due to end in 1948 and 1967, when
(1) Israel should be regathered to her land and reborn as a nation, and (2) regain control of Jerusalem.
It is a fact of history that:
(1) was fulfilled on May 14th, 1948 and
(2) was fulfilled on June 6th, 1967.
This is a clear sign that we are in the end-times.
DANIEL’S 70th WEEK.
However, there is one more puzzle: The 7 Times (2520 years) of Gentile dominion have been fulfilled, and Israel has regained sovereignty over Jerusalem, exactly as predicted and exactly on time (1948 and 1967). However if these Times of the Gentiles have indeed finished, then why does the Bible predict that a further special 7 Times (years) of Gentile dominion over Israel (the Tribulation) has yet to run?
The 70-Weeks. The answer is to be found in Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks in Daniel 9:24-27, in which God gives a timetable for Israel’s full restoration (in the Millennial Kingdom) starting with a decree in 458BC. This is a difficult yet vital foundational prophecy, that Jesus refers to in His prophecy (Matthew 24:15).
Israel is given 70 Sevens (Weeks) of Years (490 Years), after which all things would be fulfilled in answer to Daniel’s prayers: "70 Weeks (sevens of years) are determined (by God) for your people (Israel) and for your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (v24).
490 years from 458 BC ends in 33 AD.
Next he gives a breakdown of these 490 years:
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem (458BC) until (the time of) Messiah the Prince (Jesus), there shall be 7 Weeks (49 years) and 62 weeks (434 Years). The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times” (v25).
This accounts for a total of 69 Weeks (483 Years), which come to an end in AD 26, when the last Week should run until 33 AD.
This final Week (7 years) is the time of the Messiah who would bring all things to pass. The Week of Messiah was indeed AD 26-33! John the Baptist ministered the first half (3.5 years) and Jesus ministered the second half of 3.5 years. However, the prophecy is strangely silent about these 7 years, simply predicting Messiah’s death:
“And (sometime) after the 62 weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come (the Romans) shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the Temple). The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined (fulfilled in AD70)” (v26). Instead of Messiah restoring the Kingdom to Israel in AD 33, instead a worse judgement falls on Israel.
What is going on? Jesus came to Israel proclaiming the Kingdom was at hand. He was ready to establish the Kingdom as promised. But Israel rejected Him as her King and so rejected the Kingdom.
As a result these final 7 Years (the 70th Week) were cancelled by God, and will be rerun as the 7-Years of Tribulation after which the Kingdom will be established by Jesus. These final 7 years bring the 7 Times to a final end.
The next verse tells us about these 7 Years: “Then he (the Roman prince to come, antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many (the majority of Israel) for one Week (7 Years, the rerun 70th Week of Daniel), but in the Middle of the Week (Mid-Tribulation) he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the Temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him (antichrist is destroyed by Jesus Christ at His Second Coming at the end of the 7 Years)" (v27).
Since Israel rejected the 7 Years of grace under Christ they must suffer 7 Years of Judgement under antichrist. Now these 7 cancelled Years, due to be rerun at the end of the Church-Age, are part of the 7-Times (2,520 years) of Gentile dominion over Israel. Therefore, although in 1967 these Times of the Gentiles had run their course, the cancelled 7-Years (AD 26-33) must still be rerun as a special time-period of Gentile-Dominion, called the Tribulation - the climax and consummation of the age. (The fact that the Tribulation will run as 7 years of Gentile Dominion, after the Times of the Gentiles have clearly finished in 1967, proves that Daniel’s 70th Week is cancelled and rerun as the Tribulation).
Now we can understand why there are still 7 years of the 7-Times yet to run. There are a final 7 years of the Times of the Gentiles to run in the Tribulation, because it is the rerun of the cancelled 7 years of grace. This is the cancelled 70th Week of Daniel (AD 26-33) that must be rerun because Israel rejected Christ.
These final 7 years form a distinct time-period of their own and it is of great significance that they form another period of 7-Times (of days)!
This can only mean that this final ‘7 Times’ period of Gentile dominion form a miniature or BLUEPRINT in Days, of the 7-Times of Years.
Just as Nebuchadnezzar and his 7-Times formed a mini-picture of the whole course of ‘the Times of the Gentiles’ at their beginning, so likewise the antichrist and his 7-Times, give us a mini-picture of the ‘Times of the Gentiles’ at their close.
In fact the final 7-Times (of days) form the climax of the 7 Times (of years) and are the final fulfilment of the 7-Times prophecy.
All that began with Nebuchadnezzar and grew over the history of the 7-Times will come to its consummation in the Tribulation. The final form of the Gentile beast power under antichrist will be more powerful, evil and devilish than whatever came before, especially in its oppression of God’s people. It represents the fullness of evil and world-power that satan has been trying to bring to pass through history.
All that was at work over the 2,520 years will come into full manifestation in the final 2,520 days.
Thus the final 7-Times contain the essence of all that came before, compressed into 7 years by God’s Sovereignty. The 7 Times (2520 years) of the Gentile dominion over Israel are a parallel fulfilment (in years) to the 7 Times (of 2520 days) of the Tribulation (the last 7 years of the Times of the Gentiles).
Therefore when we study the chronology of the 7-Times of the Tribulation we should see a similar patternof events to the 7-Times of the Gentiles.
Notice that the 7 Times Prophecy (7x360 = 2520) is fulfilled on
3 interconnected levels:
1. Firstly, it is fulfilled in 2520 days in the first head of the Gentile powers - Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.
2. Secondly, it is fulfilled historically over 2520 years of Gentile Dominion by ‘Babylon’.
3. Thirdly, it is fulfilled again in 2520 days in the dominion of the final head of the Gentile powers - the antichrist, the ruler over the final manifestation of Babylon. He corresponds to Nebuchadnezzar, the first ruler of Babylon - a type of the antichrist. He will have 7-Times of dominion (madness) over Israel. He will be power-mad, cruel as a beast, full of pride, anti-God and insane, even thinking of himself as god and demanding to be worshipped.
The fulfilments in Days are TYPES or BLUEPRINTS of the fulfilment in Years, especially this special final ‘7 Times’ period of Gentile dominion.
The Chronology of the Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th Week).
1. These final 7-Times must start with Israel making a covenant with the antichrist for 7 years (Daniel 9:27), for this is what puts her back under Gentile dominion for the 7-Times.
2. The two-witnesses (Moses and Elijah) minister for 1,260 days (the first-half of the Tribulation) - Revelation 11:3. This corresponds to John the Baptist’s ministry of 3.5 years in the first run of these 7 years. John was sent in Elijah’s place because God knew Israel would reject His offer of the Kingdom.
3. Halfway through the Tribulation (after 3.5 Times), things get worse when antichrist breaks the covenant by invading Israel, killing the 2 witnesses and desecrating the Temple by placing his abomination there, which initiates the Great-Tribulation (see Daniel 9:27, 11:45-12:1, Matthew 24:15,21).
4. At this time the antichrist quickly gains world-dominion lasting 3.5 Times or 42 months or 1260 days, during which time he persecutes Israel and all believers in Christ, but a remnant of Israel escape. This is the second half of Daniel’s 70th Week. (Daniel 7:25, 9:27, 12:7; Revelation 11:2; 12:6,13-17; 13:5-8, Matthew 24:16-20). These 3.5 years of judgement under antichrist correspond to Israel’s 3.5 years of grace under Christ’s ministry.
5. When the 7-Times have come to a final end, Jesus Christ returns to save Israel. This is when the Gentile World-Power (Babylon) under antichrist is destroyed by the stone cut without hands (Daniel 2:34,35,44). This Day of Christ’s glorious appearing corresponds to the Day of His glorious resurrection appearance.
As well as consisting of two halves of 1260 years, the 7-Times contains a 34 year interlude, consisting of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ (30+3.5 years).
Do we see the same pattern in the Tribulation? Yes!
Daniel 12 gives more detail about the Great-Tribulation, which begins in 12:1 when antichrist invades Israel at Mid-Tribulation (11:45): "How long shall the fulfilment of these wonders (of the Great-Tribulation) be?" (v6).
“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a TIME, TIMES and HALF A TIME (1260 days); and when the power of the holy people (Israel) has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished (under the attack of antichrist Israel’s stubbornness is broken and she calls on Christ to save her, which results in the Second Coming)” (v7). Thus the time of antichrist’s world-power and massive persecution of Israel is 1260 days (see also Revelation 11:2; 12:6,14; 13:5).
Daniel next asks for a more detailed understanding and timing:
“Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said,
"My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" (v8).
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away,
and the abomination of desolation is set up (by antichrist at
Mid-Tribulation), there shall be 1290 days (to the end)” (v11).
Here we see an additional 30 days to the 1260 days.
Since the 1260 days and the 1290 days must end at the same
time (the close of the Great-Tribulation when Christ returns from heaven) they must signify two starting points. In other words, there is a Mid-Tribulational interval of at least 30 days, before antichrist gains world-power.
Let us now put it all together: After 1260 days (the ministry of the 2 witnesses) antichrist invades Jerusalem and kills them.
They lie dead for 3.5 days before being raised and caught up to heaven. This ends the time of the 6th Trumpet (Revelation 11:11-14)
The next day antichrist desecrates the Temple which initiates the 7th Trumpet and the judgements of the Great Tribulation (Revelation 11:14,15).
This day is the start of the Great-Tribulation (Matthew 24:15,21) and the start of the 1290-day countdown to the end and the sign for the Jewish believers to flee to Jordan (Matthew 24:15-21, Revelation 11:6). God holds back antichrist’s world-dominion for 30 days (see Revelation 10), so they can escape.
Then he has his 1260 days of world-power.
So we see that there is an interlude in the 7-Times of 34 days (30+3.5), just like the interlude of 34 years (30+3.5) that we saw in the longer Times of the Gentiles! (The 3.5 days and 3.5 years both end with the resurrection and ascension of God’s anointed).
This correspondence confirms our previous conclusion that the life of Christ caused a 34 year interruption (interlude) to the 7-Times.
After the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord (the unique Day of Christ’s Return, lasting 1 day) there comes a 40 day interlude before the Kingdom (Millennium) officially starts: "Blessed is he who comes to the end of the 1335 days” (Daniel 12:12). These 40 days are for the judgement of the nations, so those who inherit the Kingdom are blessed (Matt 25:31-34). They are also preparation days for the administration of the Kingdom. They correspond to the 40 days of the resurrected Christ’s time with His disciples, starting from 6pm on the day of His resurrection until His ascension to the Father’s Throne of glory (Acts 1:3).
Let the reader understand: 1260+ (4+30) +1260+ 1+40 = 1335.
Proof that Islam is an anti-christ religion!
The Temple-site in Jerusalem is the most important, most holy, most fiercely contested piece of land and is the centre of great spiritual warfare. Thus activity surrounding it is highly significant.
Both 7-Time (2520) periods (in Days and Years) have a 34 day/year interval and are neatly divided into two parts (of 1260) by an act of desecration upon God’s Temple in Jerusalem.
At Mid-Tribulation (half way through the 2520 days) the Temple is desecrated with the Abomination of Desolation by antichrist, after he captures Jerusalem, after which the 2nd 1260 days run.
Similarly, exactly halfway through the 7 TIMES (2520 years) from 607 BC (after 1260 years) brings us to 688 AD (jumping over the 34 years of Christ). Then adding another 1260 years to 688 AD takes us to 1948 AD (the Rebirth of Israel).
*In 688 AD, Islam, having captured Jerusalem, built the Dome of the Rock over the Holy of Holies (completed in 691). This abomination to a false god (Allah) erected on the holy Temple site declares that ‘God has no Son’ (anti-Christ, the Son).
*Also, exactly halfway through the 7 TIMES (2520 years) from 588 BC (after 1260 years) brings us to 707 AD (jumping over the 34 years of Christ). Then adding another 1260 years to 707 AD takes us to 1967 (the Recapture of Jerusalem)
*707 AD is when the Al-Aska Mosque was built on the Temple site (on the Court of the Gentiles) turning the whole Temple Mount into a Mosque.
In this way, half-way through the 7-Times, the whole Temple area has been desecrated, by being dedicated to a false god. Therefore, this corresponds to the act of the antichrist in desecrating the rebuilt Temple half-way through the Tribulation. The prophecy of the 7-Times shows that the Islamic structures built on God’s Temple Mount which claim it for Allah exactly half-way through the 7-Times, are a Type of Antichrist’s Abomination of Desolation. Islam is of the spirit of antichrist, for it denies the truth of Christ, that He is the Son of God, crucified for our sins and risen again as Lord of all.
In AD 33, national Israel was (spiritually) cut off from her place of favour (because of her rejection of Christ) and the Gentile nations were grafted in her place: “if some of the (natural) branches were broken off (unbelieving Israel), and you (the Gentiles), being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (Romans 11:17). This meant that meanwhile, God’s blessing and anointing came upon the Gentile nations for their salvation (they were grafted into God’s goodness, although only those who believed actually received the flow of God’s life into themselves). As a result, the Church became mostly Gentile.
According to Luke 13:6-9, this happened 6 months after the Cross (marked in Acts 7 by Stephen’s speech and martyrdom). Moreover, this scripture shows that as a result of this cutting off, Israel would lose her national life and place in the land.
Now, when Israel fell into idolatry, God removed her dominion (rulership in the land) and gave it to the Gentiles, and thus the Times of the Gentiles began (607-588 BC). Israel even had to leave the land for 70 years under Babylon, but she was still
God’s anointed witness. However when she rejected Christ her situation worsened because she was also cut off spiritually, which resulted in her also losing the land on a more permanent basis and on top of that, the Gentiles were grafted into her place of favour.
In other words, this spiritual judgement on Israel led to the Times of Gentile Dominion going into a more intense phase. This increased the Gentile dominion over Israel, and the Gentile right of occupation of the land.
Thus, within the Times of the Gentiles, there is a period when Gentile dominion over Israel intensified as a judgement on her sin of rejecting Christ. Since this time of Gentile favour was a period within the Times of the Gentiles, this was just a temporary situation, and we would expect a reversal of this before the close of the Times of the Gentiles, as God started to restore Israel.
In fact, the apostle Paul goes on to warn the Gentile nations that they, like Israel, will also be spiritually cut off from their place of favour if they are found in pride and unbelief: "(you Gentile nations) do not boast against the branches (Israel). But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches (Israel), He may not spare you either (God will judge the Gentile nations the same way). Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell (Israel), severity; but toward you (Gentile nations), goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also (the Gentile nations) will be cut off ! (as Israel was in AD 33)” (v18-22).
Here Paul prophesies a judgement that would come upon the Gentile nations (not upon individuals) before the end of the age. This cutting off will open the way for the necessary reduction of the Gentile dominion over Israel, as the Times of the Gentiles come to a close, preparing the way for Israel to be restored to the land, and then later to be spiritually grafted back into her rightful place of favour as God’s representative (v23,24). The latter will happen immediately after the rapture of the Church and will ultimately lead to her full salvation by the end of the Tribulation (v25). Although Israel has not yet been grafted back in, God has established her as a nation and protected her. (However she will continue to experience great troubles while she abides in unbelief concerning her Messiah).
This indicates that the Gentile nations have already been cut-off (as Paul had warned) and that this must have happened before 1948.
In fact it was in 1933 as we shall see.
When Israel was spiritually cut off in AD 33 she lost the right to be in the land (Luke 13:7), as well as having already lost her dominion (self-rule). God’s hand of protection was removed and forces were set in motion for her to be removed from the land. Likewise, when the Gentiles were cut off in 1933, they also lost
the right to be in the land instead of Israel. So, this was a necessary step towards Israel’s restoration to nationhood in the land. God’s hand came off the Gentiles, and His hand of blessing came upon Israel to restore her to the land. Thus, forces were set in motion for Israel’s restoration to the land.
In AD 33-73, there was a spiritual judgement by God (in AD 33) followed by a progressive outward manifestation, so that within 40 years Jerusalem was destroyed and Israel was expelled from the land by the Romans. The same kind of thing happened in 1933-73, but this time to reverse what happened 1900 years before.
In AD 33, Jesus acted out upon a Fig-Tree the coming judgement on Israel.
(1) He cursed it spiritually at its roots, which
(2) resulted in its progressive outward withering.
Also the Fig-Tree in Luke 13 (representing Israel) was:
(1) cut down in AD 33,
and (2) finally removed from the land in AD 73.
Likewise 1,900 years later,
(1) God cut off the Gentiles in 1933, and
(2) this was soon outwardly manifested beyond doubt with the rebirth of Israel (1948), the recapture of Jerusalem (1967) and its confirmation in the Yom-Kippur War (1973). So we see that there is a period of 40 years of Israel’s restoration (1933-73) after the Gentile cutting off, parallel to the 40 years (AD 33-73) of decline after Israel was cut off, exactly 1900 years before. This correspondence confirms we have entered the last days of the age.
Why is there a 1,900 year time difference between the cutting off of Israel (in AD 33), and the cutting off of the Gentiles in 1933?
God had marked out four Great Jubilee (Redemption) Cycles of 490 years for Israel:
1. Abraham’s birth to the Exodus.
2. The Exodus to Solomon’s Temple
3. Solomon’s Temple to the Decree to Rebuild Jerusalem
4. Daniel’s 70 Weeks (490 years) to Messiah (AD33).
When the Messiah was rejected, instead of receiving the Kingdom, Israel (because of her unbelief) was cut off at the end of the final 490 years, and the Gentiles were grafted in. They were also given 4 Cycles of 490 (lunar) years (making 1960 lunar years) of favour (from AD 33-1933). Now 1960 lunar years of 354 days is almost exactly 1,900 solar years. At the end of this time (1933), when the Gentile nations were found in unbelief, they too were cut off according to the prophetic warning of Romans 11:22.
Therefore 1933 marked a key spiritual moment in the progress of the end-times.
The believers God used to mark this event were shown (200 days in advance) the date of June 12th, 1933, but they were not sure what would happen. On that very day the first World Monetary and Economic Conference opened in London when all the nations of the world came together to solve the economic problems of the world (it was the time of the Great Depression). In the opening speeches the nations united in a deliberate choice to not acknowledge God or ask for His help, and talked instead of man’s ability to unite to solve his problems (this is now normal practice
of course). God spoke to these believers saying: “the Gentiles are now cut off.” The Conference ended in failure, but this manifestation of the Tower of Babel (man’s attempt to create a united one-world system, organised independently from God)
was the occasion God used to cut off the Gentiles. Thus Romans 11:22 was fulfilled as the Gentile nations continued their godless agenda to rebuild the Tower of Babel (a One-World Order) that will come to its fullness in the Tribulation, before being judged by God as He did before. Later these same believers discovered that this date in 1933 was, to the day, exactly the end of the 4x490 years from the day Israel was cut off in AD 33 (see above).
This year (1933) also saw the rise of Hitler, leading to World-War 2 (1939-1945), and the formation of the United Nations, all of which in turn helped prepare the way for the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (helped by the Holocaust and the transformation
of the international scene).
These events all confirm that God had indeed cut the Gentile Nations off.
This was a judgement on nations, rather than on individuals.
It allowed things to move toward their state in the Tribulation.
Firstly, satan desires to bring about a One-World Order under antichrist (the final form of Babylon). God is allowing evil to grow to maturity to fullness so that He may judge it. (God’s wrath often works by giving men or nations over to their stubborn choices to go their own way and they will have to face the consequences of that). Therefore, God’s hand of restraint came off the Gentile nations, allowing them to move their plans forward for a One-World Order. It also resulted in the release of the forces to bring about a revived Roman-Empire, and eventually the One-World Government of the Tribulation. But this release of evil also results in much suffering (such as World-War and the other ‘pains’ that anticipate the full ‘birth-pains’ of the Tribulation, described by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, which also characterise this present time).
Secondly, God’s hand of blessing could now also come on Israel to restore her to her land and for her to be re-established as a nation, in preparation for the Tribulation. Israel is now in the land, but is still in unbelief, and awaiting her full spiritual restoration, which is necessary for the Millennial Kingdom to be established. Only then will she be fully and permanently restored, enjoying the complete fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant. She is presently only in possession of the land by the mercy of God, for she is not fulfilling the covenant requirements for her restoration (repentance and faith in the Messiah). God has brought Israel back to the land in the time just before the Tribulation, because of His purpose to deal with her there and to save her through the Tribulation (when she calls upon the Name of Jesus), and then to establish His Kingdom.
The present time is ‘the last-days’ of the Church-Age. Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse, indicates that it is a special, well-defined time, immediately before the Tribulation, that is no more than a man’s lifetime. We have seen that the events of 1914, 1933, 1948 and 1967 establish with certainty that we are indeed in this ‘end-time’. Since the Gentile nations were cut off in 1933, we have been in a special period of grace that closes the Church-Age, whose purpose is to complete the Gentile harvest (‘the fullness of the Gentiles’), and to make preparation (set the stage) for the Tribulation to begin. Both Israel and the nations are now cut off. However, the true Church remains grafted in as God’s representatives and witnesses.
When the Church is raptured, the final restraint preventing evil’s full manifestation will be removed. With the Church gone, Israel will be grafted in again spiritually as God’s anointed nation. But 7 more Times (Years) of dominion are given to the Gentiles. Thus, God will have established the same conditions for the Tribulation as previously existed in the 7 Years of Messiah (AD 26-33): Israel is the favoured (anointed) nation, she is in the land, but under the discipline of being under Gentile domination. This is necessary, because these last 7 years are the re-run of the
7 cancelled years of Messiah. Israel are to be given a second chance to receive her Messiah. The 7 years of grace under Christ are replaced by 7 years of Tribulation under antichrist, but this time Israel will be saved!